Five Winter Skin Care Tips to Last You This Season

As Calgary got their first snow very recently, I found myself cranking up the furnace, which caused an increased bout of dryness and also a round of break-outs in acne.  Winter can be tough on the skin due to the colder temperatures and drier indoor climate.  The sudden change from warm to hot particularly can have some negative impacts on the skin as well.  Many people have what’s known as the “winter itch”, which can cause flaking scalp and increased skin problems, from eczema to redness, from sudden temperature changes.

The skin is the largest organ of the human body.  How can we take care of our skin better during these challenging months ahead?

Here are five winter beauty secrets to help you look and feel your best during the colder months:

Hydration is key:

Staying hydrated is essential for healthy skin.  The dry winter air can dehydrate your skin, so be sure to drink plenty of water to keep your skin moisturized from the inside out.  Another tip when drinking water is to add some electrolytes.  If you’re drinking tea, coffee and soda (or other drinks containing sugar), it can dehydrate you throughout the day and adding some electrolytes to our water can help counter that.  The easiest way is to add powdered electrolytes that can be found at any local drug store.

Moisturize Regularly:

Invest in a rich, hydrating moisturizer that is suitable for your skin type.  Apply it after cleansing your face, and don’t forget your hands, elbows, and other areas prone to dryness.  Moisturize should be the last step in your skincare routine to help seal in moisture.  Ingredients such as glycerin, urea and propylene glycol help attract water and retain water in the skin.

Protect Your Skin from the Elements:

Cold wind and low humidity can damage your skin.  Protect your skin by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen, even in winter, to shield against harmful UV rays.  During the winter, snow can reflect UV light and cause premature aging, fine lines and sunspots.

Use a Humidifier:

Indoor heating systems can dry out the air in your home, which can lead to dry skin and hair.  Place a humidifier in your bedroom or other frequently used areas to add moisture to the air.  For myself, I like to turn this setting on low just to avoid additional mold growing in the home.

Modify Your Skincare Routine:

Consider using a gentler cleanser and exfoliating less frequently during the winter to avoid stripping your skin of its natural oils.  Use a hydrating serum to boost moisture and consider incorporating facial oil into your routine for added protection.  For myself, I like to add a layer of hyaluronic acid (an ingredient that can retain moisture better).  This can be used right after washing the face or neck in the evening.  It also can promote more collagen and elastin and keep the skin moister throughout the night as you sleep.

Finally, don’t forget your lips.  Use a good-quality lip balm to prevent chapping and cracking.

In addition to these beauty secrets, maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants, getting regular exercise, and managing stress can also contribute to a healthy and glowing appearance during the winter months.

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